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Social stigma surrounding psychopathy has painted individuals with this disorder as unemotional, evil beings. While many psychopaths have a hard time connecting emotional value to complex stimuli, they show normal emotion and fear processing with simple stimuli. Further research indicates that attentional deficits play a role in psychopaths’ shallow affect rather than emotional deficits. This review explores several studies on emotional and attentional deficits seen in psychopaths in hopes of better understanding the mental processes involved in this disorder and of reducing the “evil” stigma surrounding it.
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